Thoughts on wrong friends and causes of the afflictions

Kerome

Kerome

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#1
Today I wanted to share with you a reflection on how friends influence us, and so how it is important that we choose the right kinds of friends to help us on our path.

This was brought on by reading this speech by the Venerable Thubten Chodron, a Buddhist nun and teacher.

Causes of the afflictions

Basically what it comes down to is that there are a series of “afflictions”, negative mind states which are things like greed, anger, jealousy, and so on. Other people can feed these habits in you, or they can help you overcome your internal tendencies towards whichever afflictions are strongest in you.

So certain people can be very triggering for your own struggles. For example you have a so-called friend who is always encouraging you to go to music festivals with him, even when he knows you have a tendency to drink too much when there and smoke too much weed. So when you are thinking you’d like to meditate and get free of some of these bad habits, he is encouraging you in the other direction. Is such a friend a good friend, or more a fair weather friend looking after his own pleasure?

Ideally our friends should be aware of our struggles and help us overcome them by creating a good, wholesome environment. Being aware of how people influence us in good and bad ways is very important, and sometimes it is necessary to divest ourselves of some of these bad influences.
 
burt tomato

burt tomato

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#2
Do you really have any friends who treat you well considering your mental health? Who talks about your mental health and show compassion?

I have a friend who takes me out to football, but I wonder if it is just for his own pleasure? Or should I not read too much into it?

What I am getting at - is can you really have such high expectations of friends?
 
W

wheezey

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#3
Do you really have any friends who treat you well considering your mental health? Who talks about your mental health and show compassion?

I have a friend who takes me out to football, but I wonder if it is just for his own pleasure? Or should I not read too much into it?

What I am getting at - is can you really have such high expectations of friends?
I do not think it is having a high expectation to have a friend support us and show us compassion. I would think your friend enjoys your company which is why he takes you to football games. :)
 
burt tomato

burt tomato

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#4
A couple of years ago I met a chap with schizophrenia. He went to the same school as me, but was about 4 years younger. I tried to be kind and compassionate to him, but in the end he stopped meeting up with me. Meh. I am not sure if he resented me because I have had a career, and looking to do more.
 
Kerome

Kerome

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#5
Do you really have any friends who treat you well considering your mental health? Who talks about your mental health and show compassion?
I have a couple of friends who also have mental health difficulties who are pretty good with this, yeah. We met at a day centre a few years ago and as we all live locally we see quite a bit of eachother.

I have a friend who takes me out to football, but I wonder if it is just for his own pleasure? Or should I not read too much into it?
Is the going out to the football good for you? It could be that it’s an essential point of human contact, but it could also be that it stirs up anger, feelings of antagonism for fans of the other club, and frustrations. So it really depends if your friends are helping you grow in your behaviour, or if they are holding you back.

What I am getting at - is can you really have such high expectations of friends?
In part it’s a question of making the most of what you have, that’s true. We all need some human contact. But it helps to be aware of the directions your friends are taking you in, so that maybe you can steer a bit the encounters you have with them. Perhaps you can be a good influence on them, if they are a bit lost in how they relate to others.
 
T

Twokiwisandabanana

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#6
You want kind people who are rooting for you
Positive people fun people
My problem is finding SOBER people lol